Mornings like this are definitely filed under ‘black dog day’.
We talk about “getting up out of the wrong side of the bed” – and I suppose it’s as simple as that some days. But of course most of the time it’s not. It’s not about mood adjustment. I have post natal depression among other things and it’s eating me up. It’s a gobble, really.
I have a pile of laundry on my three-seater couch. It is fully covered by this pile. Up to the wall.
This pile says to people ‘this is an out of control laundry situation’.
This pile says to me, ‘You are a completely inadequate person. You can’t handle the simplest of tasks. You are a constant source of annoyance to your husband. You are a disappointment to everyone you know. You do nothing all day, you don’t work, you don’t bring in money, you are useless.’
I hate this laundry pile.
It makes me hate myself so much.
The thing is, it’s not the only laundry pile.
There’s more in the hallway, more in my bedroom, more in the office and more in the laundry. My husband threw some clothes out today I put in to soak a month ago.
The kitchen – let’s not talk about the kitchen.
But this is the thing.
I’m eating some toast, and it has pools of butter and vegemite on it.
My mum would make the best hot buttered toast. This might not sound like much. But for mum and me, eating toast was more like participating in a national past time.
There is a secret to hot toast. It is like having a good cup of tea. Plates need to be hot. That toast needs to be piping. The butter needs to be generously applied. There’s generous, and my mum’s version of generous. Believe me, you have to live it to understand. Only Australians know how to scrape the exact amount of vegemite on, of course – but honey is just as good.
Eating my mum’s toast, served up on a wooden board on the kitchen table, wood fire blazing behind me – it was like filling myself with warmth and affection, morsel by morsel.
I wish I could gobble up that toast again. Made by loving hands and accompanied by joyful conversation. Philosophy. Faith. Hope.
Laundry was something to laugh about.
My mum passed away two years ago this November. And honestly – some days what that laundry pile is screaming at me is simple and not related to my lack of domesticity.
It’s crying out like my heart is. And I can’t look at it. And it piles up and fills the entire house.
But I can feed my own children hot buttered toast with loads of vegemite.
And I can say her name to you. Marion.
Isn’t that a beautiful name?